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Chief Minister stresses need for demilitarisation of North-East

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province C V Wigneswaran reiterated the call for the demilitarisation of the North-East, amidst rising crime in the region.

Justice Wigneswaran was responding to comments by Sri Lanka’s foreign minister that the Tamil people of the North-East should be “grateful” to the Sri Lankan armed forces for vacating lands that had been occupied for years by the military. The foreign minister also said Tamils should praise the armed forces for building houses for displaced persons, during a visit to Jaffna last week.

The chief minister disagreed with the comments, stating that “there is no need to praise the army for what they are doing.”

Instead Justice Wigneswaran said such moves amounted to “reparations” after decades of armed conflict and called for the further demilitarisation of the North-East. “Like the judiciary, the armed forces should keep away from civilians,” he said.

He went on to note that the military was playing a role in the rising crime in the North-East, as well as the increasing cases of drug and alcohol addiction.

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